Question About Syndicated Rocky and Bullwinkle Episodes

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Courage-Bagge

''Unbelievable!''
Jan 4, 2003
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#1
I'm aware that in syndication (in America at least), they the only episodes they synidacted were from the first two seasons, and then the latter episodes starting with "Bumbling Bros. Circus".

Now here's my confusing question: some sources claim that a total of 97 half-hour episodes are syndicated, and that both "Moosylvania" and "Moosylvania Saved" were excluded; meanwhile other sources (including WikiPedia, which I know is not 100% reliable) state that 98 half-hour episodes were syndicated, and that only "Moosylvania" was excluded, while "Moosylvania Saved" was still syndicated. I've watched a lot of Rocky and Bullwinkle when it was aired on my local Fox station after the movie was released, and I never did see either Moosylvania storylines. So, which is correct?
 
Aug 4, 2007
224
Ratings
1
18
Illinois
#2
I'm aware that in syndication (in America at least), they the only episodes they synidacted were from the first two seasons, and then the latter episodes starting with "Bumbling Bros. Circus".

Now here's my confusing question: some sources claim that a total of 97 half-hour episodes are syndicated, and that both "Moosylvania" and "Moosylvania Saved" were excluded; meanwhile other sources (including WikiPedia, which I know is not 100% reliable) state that 98 half-hour episodes were syndicated, and that only "Moosylvania" was excluded, while "Moosylvania Saved" was still syndicated. I've watched a lot of Rocky and Bullwinkle when it was aired on my local Fox station after the movie was released, and I never did see either Moosylvania storylines. So, which is correct?
The 98 figure is correct. The "Moosylvania Saved" storyline is crammed into the final syndicated "Bullwinkle Show" episode (official episode number #898). (FYI, the skipped segments are syndicated, but they're in a separate package under the "Rocky & His Friends" title, which I have very rarely seen.)

(Skip the rest of this if you don't want to be bored with technical minutae on the syndicated shows.)

I am under the impression that the final 20 syndicated "Bullwinkle Show" half-hours may have been added to the package later on, because they are distinctive from the first 78 in several ways. (Remember, that I'm referring to the U.S. syndicated version of "The Bullwinkle Show" here.) The first 78 half-hours (#801-878) comprise all the Rocky & Bullwinkle storylines from the first two seasons (which originally aired on ABC under the title "Rocky & His Friends"). The format is pretty standard throughout these 78 half-hours: One Rocky & Bullwinkle chapter, then the second cartoon is either a "Fractured" or an "Aesop," then a "short cartoon" (Mr. Know-It-All, Bullwinkle's Corner, Fan Club, and sometimes in the pre-1990 16mm syndicated prints, Commander McBragg). Next is usually a "Peabody" (or occasionally a "Do-Right"), then a second Rocky & Bullwinkle chapter, and then finally another short cartoon.

Now, the final 20 syndicated half-hours are quite different. For starters, most of them have three Rocky & Bullwinkle chapters instead of the usual two. This is because most of these later storylines have six chapters, which are presented over two consecutive shows. "Wossamotta U" (#893-897) is a longer storyline and is spread over four shows; "Bumbling Bros. Circus" (#879-881) has ten chapters presented over three shows, one of which (#879) has four Rocky & Bullwinkle segments in it, and "Moosylvania Saved" (#898) has four chapters, all presented in one half-hour. The rest of the half-hour is comprised of a Fractured Fairy Tale (except shows #879 and #898), all of which are repeated from earlier in the syndicated run, and a couple of short cartoons (as mentioned above).

Before the shows were remastered in 1990, the last 20 were even more distinctive. In the 16mm versions, the soundtracks on both the show opening and closing were very noisy, with a lot of loud "rumbling." The audio on the show opening and closing on the last 20 half-hours was clean. (Since the remaster, none of this stuff applies to the current versions being aired on TV.) Also, in the first 78 shows, the "Fractured Fairy Tales" segments all began with the later opening title (I believe the third version according to Keith Scott's book), with the book getting shut on the fairy. The "Fractured" closing was always the "chalk" version, and the music on the individual segment intros (R&B, Fractured, Peabody) was the earlier version (as originally heard on "Rocky & His Friends"). The first 78 also had some repeating interstitials with Bullwinkle trying to pull a rabbit from his hat, but these almost never appeared in the final 20 half-hours (since the 1990 remaster, the reverse is true)! The Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons in the last 20 syndicated half-hours (#879-898) have the later intro music (as heard on the official DVDs) and while only two intros were used in the first 78 shows, the last 20 include all four. The "Fractured Fairy Tales" cartoons in the final 20 syndicated half-hours usually have the earlier intro and outro with the elf kicking the giant (with the 1959 music), though some of the segments have the later intro and outro. Commander McBragg also appeared more frequently in the last 20 shows (before the remaster). When the shows were remastered, all the McBraggs were replaced with either a "Bullwinkle's Corner," "Mr. Know-It-All," or a "Fan Club" segment.

I should point out that during the 1981-1982 season, NBC actually brought "The Bullwinkle Show" back as part of its Saturday morning cartoon lineup. The episodes they aired were all later ones (from "Bumbling Bros. Circus" forward), but they were different compilations from the syndicated versions. They included other cartoons (I remember seeing a lot of Dudley Do-Right) and they did not have three Rocky & Bullwinkle chapters in each half-hour. This is what leads me to believe they may have been added to the syndicated package later (but I have no way of verifying this and I don't really know).

There is a small public-domain company called Nostalgia Family Video which released all 98 of the U.S. syndicated "Bullwinkle Show" half-hours on VHS (unfortunately, not on DVD), and a few of the shows have appeared recently as part of the Digiview "Toon Factory" dollar DVD series. I personally have the NFV VHS versions of the last 20 half-hours, and the quality is a mixed bag depending on the prints they used. The official DVD releases are far superior quality, but NFV's versions seem a little more "authentic" to me as far as having the shows the way they used to be. (They have the familiar "Bullwinkle Show" opening and closing, etc.)

Hope that helps...
 

Courage-Bagge

''Unbelievable!''
Jan 4, 2003
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#3
Yes, that does help a lot, thank you Mark.

And yeah, I know what you're talking about, I have some old (circa 2000, 2001) Bullwinkle tapes and have some that have the stardard two Bullwinkle segments, then latter one with three segments instead.
 

Anthonynotes

Active Member
May 1, 2001
15,538
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38
#4
The 98 figure is correct. The "Moosylvania Saved" storyline is crammed into the final syndicated "Bullwinkle Show" episode (official episode number #898). (FYI, the skipped segments are syndicated, but they're in a separate package under the "Rocky & His Friends" title, which I have very rarely seen.)
Actually, the syndicated "Rocky and His Friends" package is under the name "The Rocky Show", with its own opening/closing sequence made for it (a circus wagon parade with calliope music playing and Rocky flying along from one wagon car to another; part of the calliope music is heard in the opening for Nickelodeon's 90s "Moose-a-rama" series). The syndicated episodes for "The Rocky Show" were 15 minutes long (the package created back when 15 minute long shows were still aired on TV), and IIRC consisted of one R&B episode, a Fractured Fairy Tale and/or a Peabody & Sherman short, and one interstital, IIRC.

The last time I saw this show on TV was as a kid in the 80s when a station would air "The ROcky Show" package, usually by airing two 15-minute eps back-to-back to make a half-hour show. I saw it again last year at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York, and it brought back memories!

From the Program Exchange website, they still offer this package for syndication, but given its 15-minute format, it's probably why it's been rarely seen in recent years (when R&B are seen *period* on US TV, that is).
 
Aug 4, 2007
224
Ratings
1
18
Illinois
#5
Actually, the syndicated "Rocky and His Friends" package is under the name "The Rocky Show", with its own opening/closing sequence made for it (a circus wagon parade with calliope music playing and Rocky flying along from one wagon car to another; part of the calliope music is heard in the opening for Nickelodeon's 90s "Moose-a-rama" series). The syndicated episodes for "The Rocky Show" were 15 minutes long (the package created back when 15 minute long shows were still aired on TV), and IIRC consisted of one R&B episode, a Fractured Fairy Tale and/or a Peabody & Sherman short, and one interstital, IIRC.

The last time I saw this show on TV was as a kid in the 80s when a station would air "The ROcky Show" package, usually by airing two 15-minute eps back-to-back to make a half-hour show. I saw it again last year at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York, and it brought back memories!

From the Program Exchange website, they still offer this package for syndication, but given its 15-minute format, it's probably why it's been rarely seen in recent years (when R&B are seen *period* on US TV, that is).
WGN-Channel 9 used to air that in Chicago in the mid-1970s, and WSNS-Channel 44 aired it in the late 1970s. (That's the last time I've ever seen it.) It was always promoted as "Rocky And His Friends," although the shows had "The Rocky Show" titles. (I have some 16mm prints and a few of them have a label on the end of the leader that has the distributor name and the title "Rocky And His Friends.") Both stations aired it in a 30-minute format, although I am guessing that they probably aired two "quarter hours" back to back. I also seem to recall that WSNS-Channel 44 at one point had both "Rocky" and "The Bullwinkle Show" in its lineup, programmed as if they were two different shows. (WPWR-TV also did the same thing at one time with "Marshall Dillon" and "Gunsmoke!")

For what it's worth, WGN-Channel 9 ran a version of "Rocky And His Friends" in the late 1960s, which had the Season 2 "parade" titles (the "de-sponsorized" version like on the DVDs). It was in a half-hour format. They also aired the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons on "Bozo's Circus" at the same time.
 

Anthonynotes

Active Member
May 1, 2001
15,538
Ratings
3
38
#6
WGN-Channel 9 used to air that in Chicago in the mid-1970s, and WSNS-Channel 44 aired it in the late 1970s. (That's the last time I've ever seen it.) It was always promoted as "Rocky And His Friends," although the shows had "The Rocky Show" titles. (I have some 16mm prints and a few of them have a label on the end of the leader that has the distributor name and the title "Rocky And His Friends.") Both stations aired it in a 30-minute format, although I am guessing that they probably aired two "quarter hours" back to back. I also seem to recall that WSNS-Channel 44 at one point had both "Rocky" and "The Bullwinkle Show" in its lineup, programmed as if they were two different shows. (WPWR-TV also did the same thing at one time with "Marshall Dillon" and "Gunsmoke!")

For what it's worth, WGN-Channel 9 ran a version of "Rocky And His Friends" in the late 1960s, which had the Season 2 "parade" titles (the "de-sponsorized" version like on the DVDs). It was in a half-hour format. They also aired the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons on "Bozo's Circus" at the same time.
I grew up in northern Indiana (where we got TV from Chicago and South Bend, Indiana); recall it was a religious TV station in South Bend, Indiana (WHME, channel 46) that aired children's cartoons in the afternoons, including the back-to-back "The Rocky Show" episodes IIRC...
 

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